Ubuntu – How to launch application as root from Unity Launcher


Mainly I am looking for a way to pin an application to the Unity launch bar, and run it as root.

Currently, even if I start the application with sudo, and pin it after it starts, it will start as current user next time.

Sad, but there is no context menu option "run as …".

Update: I switched to gnome3 and now I'm happy, I'm missing only the search.

Best Answer

If you want the app to always run as root

  1. Pin the application to the launcher as normal.

  2. Locate the applications .desktop file which will be in either:

    • /usr/share/applications/APPNAME.desktop
    • ~/.local/share/applications/APPNAME.desktop
    • or somewhere else, use locate .desktop|grep APPAME
  3. Open with gedit:

    gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/APPNAME.desktop
  4. Then change the line



    Exec=gksudo -k -u root APP_COMMAND
  5. Save

This command will also keep your environment which is very usefull if you need to connect to others servers and use your private key.

To add a quicklist option to 'Run as root'

Follow steps 1, 2 and 3 above

If the launcher currently doesn't have any other quicklist options, just append this to the end of the document


[Runroot Shortcut Group]
Name=Run as root
Exec=gksudo -k -u root APP_COMMAND